If you like competition books or novels centered around the fine arts, VIRTUOSITY is going to be your new best friend! The novel reminds me a lot of fellow debut choir novel RIVAL by Sara Bennett Wealer (which I reviewed earlier this year here. It’s also similar to upcoming debut ballet novels AUDITION by Stasia Ward Kehoe and BUNHEAD by Sophie Flack, as well as movies/TV shows such as CENTER STAGE and GLEE. But it’s also not like any of the above. First of all, it’s the only one centered around violin, which makes it unique all by itself. One thing I loved about RIVAL was the way two girls who are frenemies are up for a prestigious music scholarship. It’s rare to see a book be so focused on two girls and their relationship. It’s more often a girl and a guy, as is the case with VIRTUOSITY. Even so, I’ve always loved stories that started out in hatred and get all mixed up once feelings are involved.
VIRTUOSITY centers around Carmen, a world-class violinist from the USA with a full ride to Julliard ahead of her. She’s only seventeen, but has already come out with several CDs and won a Grammy for classical music. She conducted her first symphony at the tender age of nine. Her biggest competition for the Guarneri, a prestigious competition that results in a world tour, $50,000, and the use of a Guarneri guitar for four years, is a British guy named Jeremy. He’s the same age as her, began conducting at the same age as her, and has also come out with a few CDs. He is her male counterpart. What starts out as a fierce competition becomes something more, with both parties unsure how to react around one another in a realistic way.
Unfortunately, I can’t give you guys a teaser this time around. Simon & Schuster doesn’t allow quotes before publication. Just know that VIRTUOSITY is one fantastic book, one that I’ll post a full review for closer to launch. But you will LOVE it!